When it comes to historical linguistics (history, prehistory, Indo-European studies, etymology) of Latin and Greek, what are the most important resources? The resources can be historical grammars, etymological dictionaries, or anything similar. I am not looking for a full bibliography, but useful reference material.

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2 Answers 2


De Vaan's Etymological Dictionary of Latin is perhaps the most up to date one. He also bases his articles on the other main etymological dictionaries, like Walde-Hofmann and Ernout-Meillet. Sometimes I would have liked his articles to be a bit more expansive, but that would have required a lot more time to write. It is available on paper and online.

  • It’s also available online (subscription required) dictionaries.brillonline.com/latin
    – Alex B.
    Feb 24, 2018 at 17:15
  • 1
    @AlexB.: Ah, good to know. Too bad it's ridiculously expensive. One day of access for €12,50? And no doubt in large part funded by public money. (It's easy to find the PDF online.) But I'll put it in my answer.
    – Cerberus
    Feb 24, 2018 at 23:24
  • Well, it is rather expensive but you get full access to all the etymological dictionaries published by Brill, with a wide range of search options. I recommend accessing it via an institution.
    – Alex B.
    Feb 25, 2018 at 5:35
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    There seems to be a paperback edition for a quarter of the price. I don't know if there are any differences in content.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Feb 25, 2018 at 11:20
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    No difference in content. I own it. There’s also a paperback edition of Beekes in 2 volumes.
    – Alex B.
    Feb 25, 2018 at 13:54

Michael Weiss's Outline of the Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin is the most comprehensive, well-researched, and balanced historical grammar of Latin. There is a website with addenda and corrigenda maintained by the author. It is available on paper only; the second, corrected printing was released in 2011.

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